Maponyane: Pirates need goals

Orlando Pirates take on Mpumalanga Black Aces in the Telkom Knockout tonight.

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JOHANNESBURG - Marks Maponyane has admitted that he is confused by the loss of form of all Orlando Pirates strikers.

Ahead of their Telkom Knockout Cup fixture against Black Aces tonight, the front line of the Buccaneers have scored four goals in their last seven games.

Maponyane says he could understand if only one player was struggling, but the loss of form of the entire front line is baffling.

"It just confirms the fact that it can't be as worse as it has been happening at Pirates for any coach where you get all your strikers, even those on the bench, being off form all at the same time. It just shows you that coach Roger De Sa has to be patient."

The former striker has reflected on the opening round of the games in the Telkom Knockout Cup.

He has so far been impressed by Mamelodi Sundowns, who he believes are reaping the rewards of buying well during the transfer window.

"Sundowns have really taken a lot of us by surprise. They have been playing very well, are a compact side and have signed good players over the years. But for me, this season they have made the best signings. These signings are just making the difference on the field. But other than Sundowns, Platinum Stars also continue to impress."

Maponyane expects the Buccaneers to bounce back against Black Aces tonight.

The Buccaneers played out a goalless draw in the CAF champion's league semifinal first leg against Esperance.

That draw combined with the loss to Platinum Stars in the MTN 8 final means that tonight's clash is a must win for Pirates, according to Maponyane.

"Pirates need to go and make up for the loss in the final of MTN8. So they have to go out there and win against Aces. You only as good as your last game, especially against the so called "small teams."

Maponyane believes that Pirates' adventure in Africa along with the MTN8 final defeat has shown the side that no team can be taken lightly.

"Obviously they have gathered a lot of experience in their CAF Championship and it is always one lesson that they have now agreed to have learnt."

Kickoff for tonight's game is at 19:30.